Apoel won the big game in Cyprus on Wednesday night, the champions thrashing Anorthosis 3-0 in Larnaca as a full midweek programme in the championship kicked-off.
Anorthosis, who went into the game top of the table, got off to a nightmare start when Pote raced onto a clever touch by Salai to slot the ball past keeper Arush straight from the kick-off.
Anorthosis had to wait until the 35th minute for their first chance, but Abdullayev shot wastefully wide from a good position
The Famagusta club began the second half on the front foot but it was Apoel who should have scored in the 55th minute, but Aloneftis’ shot was cleared off the line by Artymatas with Arush out of position.
Two minutes later though Embezilio doubled Apoel’s advantage after a defensive mistake.
Pote found the net again a couple of minutes later but he was wrongly flagged offside.
Anorthosis were given a lifeline with the awarding of a 77th minute penalty, but Joao Victor failed to beat Apoel’s Spanish keeper Perez.
The icing on the cake came five minutes from time when Apoel substitue De Camargo, who had just come on, was allowed a free header from a corner to head past Arush, as Anorthosis slumped to their first defeat of the season.
Earlier, the big clash between AEK and AEL ended in a goalless stalemate.
In a dour first half, neither side were able to create any chances with both more intent on not allowing their opponents to break forward.
The second half started well with AEK’s Taulemesse racing clear but his shot went well wide.
AEL’s first chance came after the hour mark but defender Lafrance somehow managed to shoot wide from close range.
AEK created two more chances through Acoran and Larena but AEL goalkeeper Vozinia was not to be beaten with both sides feeling that they dropped two points rather than gaining one at the final whistle.
Elsewhere, Olympiakos beat Ethnikos Achnas 3-2 in an entertaining game in Nicosia.
Olympiakos took the lead in the fifth minute through Sotiriou but their lead lasted just eight minutes as Pinceli equalised from the penalty spot.
Torres deservedly restored Olympiakos’ lead early in the second half but a spectacular long-range effort five minutes from time by Pinceli again restored parity.
Olympiakos though were not to be denied and their skipper Samaras scored the winner from the penalty spot with virtually the last kick of the game to give his team the precious three points.
Wednesday’s results see AEK leapfrog Anorthosis at the top of the table by one point, with Apoel up to third, four points off top spot but with two games in hand.
Thursday’s fixture list is as follows: Salamina v Doxa (5pm), Aris v Alki (6pm), Ermis v Apollon and Omonia v Pafos FC (7pm).